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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – An amazing season closes in Houston

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  Jazz represent themselves as they have all season but fall in 5 to Rockets as season comes to an end

  • Quite honestly my noggin is pretty emptying.  Very grateful for an amazing season, very sad that it is over and sad that no team every returns as it was so I know this is a place and time that will not be recreated.
  • The Jazz really battled tonight. Early in the game, it felt like their extra energy was working against them.  They were dropping passes, they were fumbling dribbles and missing layups.  But that same energy kept them in the game.
  • On multiple occasions it felt like the Jazz were about to get blown out and instead by the beginning of the 4th quarter they had the lead.
  • Then Chris Paul had the best quarter of his storied career. He scored 20 points for the first time his career in a quarter.  He surpassed his personal playoff career high and he simply willed the Rockets to a win.  This showed the value of a star.
  • The exciting thing for the Jazz is they have a star and he showed it in the third quarter. Donovan Mitchell for the 2nd time in the playoffs scored 22 points in a quarter.  He created 29 points in the quarter and he willed the Jazz to a 4th quarter lead.  It was sensational.  It was another in a litany of examples of his incredible ability to learn.   He had struggled in the series and yet as the series continued he learned more and more and figured out how he could score and where he could score.  It is nearly unheard of for a rookie to take over a game like this.
  • Mitchell is completely fearless. There is no moment he thinks is too big or no task that he thinks is too large.  He is a remarkable kid.   I described him to Kevin Harlan of TNT as the child we are all trying to raise.  Off the court he is that good.  On the floor he wows us every night.
  • He has really struggled with the off the bounce three. When he brings that up to 35% he will be a 30 point a night NBA scorer and simply a unguardable player.  If you go under the screen he will be able pull back and hit.  If you trail he will drive with the ability to get under, by or around the big.   If you blitz it he will either dribble thru it or make the right play.  It is going to be awesome to watch him evolve.  The off the bounce three is the thing I will be watching most closely at the start of next season.  It is a shot you don’t practice until you have spent a year in the league and it is a shot you can’t practice well in the middle of a grueling NBA season.
  • James Harden got blocked by Rudy Gobert early in the game and was never right after that. He had a miserable night and if it weren’t for his new Robin to his Batman the talk would all be about James Harden and his inability to come thru in the playoffs.
  • Royce O’Neale started the summer looking for a team to play on bouncing from one summer league team to the next going to free agent camps. He ended the year guarding the prospective MVP in James Harden and doing an incredible job.   What a great year for Royce and incredible development of his game.
  • The Jazz really missed Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum tonight.
  • The magic number all series was 14 threes. Keep the Rockets under 14 and try to get over 14.  Jazz had 10 Rockets had 18.   Chris Paul had 8
  • PJ Tucker was the wild card going 5 for 7 from three and 7 for 9 on the game for a playoff high of 19.
  • Alec Burks left a nice mark on the game with 22 points and 5 assists. Really cool that he could have this game to wrap up a frustrating season.
  • Jae Crowder couldn’t find his shooting stroke in the playoffs as he was 2 for 11 and really struggled the final three games of the series.
  • A wonderful season comes to an end. Playing into May and building a foundation that should last the test of time.   Pretty amazing work from all involved
  • Thanks to you for reading this, following the team and the passion you have for the organization

David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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Utah Jazz

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David Locke

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